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Volvo XC40 – The Urban Run Around

Thor may have gained weight in Endgame, but his appeal continues to seep into every aspect of the real world. Cue the cinematic drive-in of the Volvo XC40 during dusk, with the “Thor” LED daytime lights drawing sharp breathes as it stops sharply at an angle. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, the latest contender in the urban crossover market, the Volvo XC40 T5 AWD R-Design.

We all know that Volvo isn’t owned by, well Volvo, anymore but thankfully their parents did not take away the Volvo nature during the transition. This means that the quirky Swedish carmaker has the proper financial backing to build more well-rounded cars for people with a taste for something out of the norm, namely, German. This recipe is working well for them.

The XC40 only comes in this one variant, eliminating the comparing and contrasting debacle. The only decision you will need to make is which of the four available colours do you go for when they all look outstanding.

We got our hands on this Chrystal White and it fit perfectly in the urban streets of Desa Park City on a pleasant weekend.

While the XC40 occupies a small space on the outside, it is more than capable of carrying five adults to and from locations. It is larger than equivalently priced vehicles and is light-years ahead in trim quality, NVH and safety technologies. Inside you’re met with charcoal headliner while the added trims have a touch of chrome on them. Just nice to contrast but not too much that it shows off.

This being the R-Design, the steering wheel is chunky and has a R design pattern at the bottom to remind you. Seated, you face a 12.3″ TFT Adaptive Digital Display that does the job of an instrument cluster, flowing elegantly from one digital interface to another. The steering wheel itself isn’t stuffed with buttons to control the entire car, which makes finding the volume or answer call button much easier. Thank you Volvo.

Volvo say that the R comes with a sports chassis. Maybe that’s why they bestowed this baby SUV with paddle shifters, an All Wheel Drive system and a 2 Litre turbocharged engine. It puts out a meaty 250Hp and 350Nm of torque, the latter from as low as 1800 rpms allowing it to be accessible in normal traffic conditions. Paired with an 8-speed Auto, the XC40 can do 0-100km/h in 6.4 seconds and will soar to 230km/h. Thought you could mess with the soccer mom car did you?

Nevertheless, outright power isn’t what this handsome GQ magazine cover model is all about. It’s the technology that gets the ladies. And guys. Me. Anyways. Blind Spot Assist, Lane Keeping Aid, Driver Alert Control, Cross Traffic Alert with AutoBrake, Run Off Road Mitigation, Oncoming Lane Mitigation, City Safety Collision Avoidance (Front & Rear) and Pedestrian, Cyclist & Large Animal Detection. It’s like driving around with people around your car inside and out, to warn you of anything and everything that’s happening, Literally.

Among all the gadgets though, the two I loved the most are the Park Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control. The cruise control allows for semi-autonomous driving because the once active, the system will give small steering inputs to keep the car within the lanes and from the set distance from the car ahead.

It is semi-autonomous because the system does not allow the user to remove his/her hand from the steering wheel for more than 3 seconds. The park assist can speed up parking to a scary yet accurate level. The system is so precise and confident in its actions that you only need to follow its instructions and you’ll be parked before you know it.

The Volvo XC40 then is a cross between a super nanny and an English butler. It gets things done without making a fuss and for an affordable price. Just RM256,088. Don’t think twice.

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